Eastleigh - Silverlake Stadium
Eastleigh Football Club
BRIEF HISTORY/FACTS ABOUT THE SPITFIRES:
- Eastleigh Football Club were formed on 22nd May 1946, by Derik Brooks and a group of friends in the Fleming Arms public house in Swaythling, Southampton.
- The club were originally known as Swaythling Athletic, but then just known as Swaythling. The club began playing games on Southampton Common and then at Westfield in Swaythling.
- The club joined the Hampshire League in 1950, with 7 years later moving to their current ground Ten Acres.
- The clubs first title win was in 1950, winning the Southampton Senior League (West).
- In 1980, the club renamed their name from Swaythling to Eastleigh, 6 years before Eastleigh became founder members of the Wessex League.
- Eastleigh adopted their nickname The Spitfires moniker after consultation with supporters during the close season of 2005. Southampton Airport (previously known as Eastleigh Airport) was the home for the assembly of the Supermarine Type F37/34 Spitfire once the Aircraft had been built in nearby Woolston.
- In the 2009/10 season, The Spitfires reached the FA Cup 1st Round for the 1st ever time in the clubs history, losing to Conference side Barrow 2-1.
- Eastleigh did have trophy joy though in 2011/12, winning the Hampshire Senior Cup where the final was held at Southampton's St Mary's, against AFC Totton. The Spitfires won 2-0.
- The club won promotion to the Conference from the Conference South, where they won the League Title in 2014, winning the title on 86 points. Their 1st game in the Conference Premier was a 3-0 win at Nuneaton Town.
- Since then, the club have gone further in the FA Cup, losing to Bolton Wanderers and Brentford in the rounds.
Eastleigh have been playing at the Silverlake (or otherwise known as Ten Acres) since 1957 from their previous ground in Walnut Avenue. In 1976, floodlights were installed at the ground, and following promotion in 2004 from the Isthmian League, the old wooden stand was knocked down, and a new 352 seater grandstand was built on the half-way line stretching for just under a third of the pitch. The club's record attendance at the Silverlake is 5,025 in January 2016, an FA Cup 3rd round tie with Bolton Wanderers. The nearest train station to the ground is Southampton Airport Parkway which is on the London Waterloo line, around a 20 minute walk.
VISIT 1: Eastleigh 0-4 Gillingham 24/7/18
1ST VISIT TO THE SILVERLAKE, JULY 2018 PRE-SEASON:
Eastleigh 0-4 Gillingham
Tuesday 24th July 2018
When the Pre-Season fixtures got announced, I noticed we had a friendly with Eastleigh, of course currently managed by none other than Gills legend Andy Hessenthaler. So, when it got announced, of course my aim is to tick the ground off, which would be my 14th Vanarama National League ground. I have only ever seen Eastleigh play once, which was at Maidenhead United last season which saw a 3-1 win for the home side. (You can click on my blog that night at Maidenhead by clicking here) I left home shortly after 4, to catch my booked train from London Waterloo to Southampton Airport Parkway which left at 5.35. I arrived into Southampton Airport Parkway around 6.50pm and with about a 20 minute walk, I arrived to the ground around 7.10pm. After taking pictures outside the ground, I met up with 2 good mates in Barnsey and Jim, Jim a mad Gills fan and also a Groundhopper when Gills aren't playing. I bought myself a drink and shortly after that, the game kicked off. The 1st half wasn't the most thrilling of halves, but then it never usually is in Pre-Season. Gills heading into the break 1-0 up after Regan Charles-Cook 1 of our new signings got brought down in the box from keeper Graham Stack, although there was contact but felt it was soft. Anyway, wasn't the best of penalties, but Dean Parrett, another new signing from AFC Wimbledon put the ball away. 2nd half was much better, goals from Elliott List, Liam Nash and Brandon Hanlan from Charlton sealing the win, although 4-0 pretty much flattered us really, but nice to see a win. Only one more Pre-Season friendly for me now at Worthing next week. I arrived home around 12.45am, luckily just making my last train at Waterloo East due to the train being late and having over 5 minutes to spare which was a bit squeaky bum time for sure!